OTAGO, NZ: While undoubtedly the main thing currently happening in Otago is the peony harvest, John Van Delft, the main grower south of Christchurch looks at the state of the local market in Dunedin and southern regions.
“Supermarkets are selling bunches of flowers using 2nd quality stock, some of it is already past it when offered for sale. Florists are not stocking a full range of roses with particular colours not being available in one area at all,” said John.
It seems that NZ florists are reluctant to carry a full range of stock for fear of losses, wholesalers do not wish to take the risk either. “As a grower I am being asked to supply smaller quantities more often at short notice. This is making our situation more difficult at a time of static prices, the situation for many years now. Are the public who buy the poor quality flowers (albeit at a lower price) reluctant to purchase again for fear of wasting their money? How or can we address this problem?,” questioned Van Delft.
As he is currently on a short break in NSW, he has noticed that the quality of flowers being offered here is generally very poor, but high street prices are even lower i.e. $10 for a wrapped bunch of 10 roses.
“Should we be thinking of promoting a “Quality Guarantee”? In conjunction with “Fresh NZ grown”? My wife tells me some major supermarkets in the UK offer a 5 day guarantee.”
Van Delft treats his roses with Liquid Seal – this comes at a cost. “So far we have not had a noticeable improvement in the prices received.”